We are planners and designers who care how south Louisiana plans for the future. Our goal? To spur the kind of short-term growth that leads to long-term prosperity. Our work is supported by the Louisiana Office of Community Development-Disaster Recovery Unit, through grants from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. To learn more about the Coastal Sustainability Studio, CLICK HERE.
The Louisiana Resiliency Assistance Program connects architects, scientists, citizens, and coastal managers so that we can support Louisiana communities together. Our constantly updated clearinghouse of information offers state of the art resources about resilience planning. We also identify ways for communities to work with other partners.
In 2013, our work focused on helping 30 communities affected by Hurricanes Gustav and Ike. With funding from the Louisiana Office of Community Development-Disaster Recovery Unit, these communities are creating resilience plans and projects that address local needs. To assist these efforts, we have conducted several webinars and workshops. In 2014, we will complete a detailed collection of resilience planning best practices distilled from south Louisiana’s experience. This document will offer models and lessons learned for communities around the world.
Four hurricanes between 2005 and 2008 forced south Louisianans to take stock of a changing landscape. We see it in the wetland loss, land subsidence, and sea level rise that have brought more floods more often to our communities. Whether we live in big cities or country towns, many of us wonder how long our homes and businesses will be safe. Resilience planning can help us stop wondering and start acting—not just to save our way of life but to make it better than ever.
In August 2016, a low-pressure system dropped 22-31" of rain in two days across Louisiana's capital region. Resultant flooding took 13 lives and caused damage to an estimated 156,000 structures. The region was brought to a standstill due to multi-day closures of I-10 and I-12, leading to transportation and economic disruption across the Gulf Coast. Touted as a "one-in-1,000-year flood" this was the third such event in 2016 to hit the southeastern US, and one of nine since 2010 (NOAA NWS, 2016). Climate change predictions indicate these severe precipitation events are likely to increase in frequency and intensity in the future (Prein et al., 2016).
Our goal is to create a framework to restore and enhance community well-being in the face of extreme weather and climate change, and to support adaptation strategies for sustainable futures. Design practices will be implemented locally as the Baton Rouge region recovers from the devastating floods of 2016. They will also provide a development, policy, and design framework applicable to coupled inland-coastal regions across the Gulf Coast and beyond.